Want to buy cigarettes in Mass.? You might have to wait until you’re 21


Massachusetts lawmakers appear increasingly likely to raise the minimum legal age for sale of tobacco to 21, a move that would make the state just the third in the nation to enact that requirement statewide.

The tobacco measure could be included in the overhaul of Massachusetts’ marijuana legalization law that state lawmakers expect to pass by the end of June.

Doing so would harmonize the legal age for three drugs: alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco. And it would level the playing field because more than 140 towns and cities, including Boston and Worcester, have already raised the tobacco sales age to 21. Other municipalities allow sales at age 18.

If passed, the change would mean that young adults across Massachusetts who can legally serve in the military, drive, and vote would not be able to legally buy a pack of cigarettes at the local convenience store.

Health advocates say raising the age will help curb addiction to tobacco. But major monied interests, including tobacco juggernaut Altria Group Inc., want to maintain the status quo. To date, only Hawaii and California have raised the tobacco sales age statewide.

The Massachusetts Senate passed a bill raising the age last year, but it languished in the House of Representatives, despite support for the idea from Speaker Robert A. DeLeo and Governor Charlie Baker.

Continue Reading….

The news can be found at:


NESSARA Announces Preferred Financing Relationship with Patriot Capital

NESSARA Announces Preferred Financing Relationship with Patriot Capital

Patriot Capital

Patriot Capital to Provide Financing Options to New England Service Station & Auto Repair Association Members

ATLANTA, GA – April 20, 2016 – The New England Service Station & Auto Repair Association (NESSARA), New England’s largest independent automotive industry association, has launched a program to help its members modernize their businesses and meet updated regulatory standards. A new exclusive financing partnership with Patriot Capital will enable NESSARA members to obtain equipment financing for upgrades related to EMV payments, underground storage tank regulations and LED lighting energy savings.

“Our members are faced with a wide range of equipment upgrades, and for many of them, financing is a logical business decision,” said Matt Lelacheur, NESSARA Co-Executive Director. “Our members have a history of successfully working with Patriot Capital, and Patriot’s support of the association makes our decision to endorse Patriot as our preferred financing partner a great step forward for us.”

Patriot Capital’s ‘Easy EMV’ program provides NESSARA members with access to financing to upgrade most equipment on a site, including gas pumps, LED lighting, underground storage tanks, and other fueling and in-store equipment. In addition to ‘Easy EMV,” Patriot Capital also offers a variety of financing options to help businesses update their facilities to meet the new industry standards and regulations.

NESSARA’s members, serving the retail fuel and auto repair needs of clients in the New England states of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine, will have access to a range of financing programs designed to match their business plan and equipment-upgrade strategies.

“NESSARA members are among New England’s most progressive convenience store and auto repair shop business people,’ said Jason Raffensperger, Northeast Regional Manager for Patriot Capital. ” We are excited about the opportunity to continue and expand our partnership as they move ahead to meet the revised UST regulations, upcoming EMV liability shift on gas pumps, and make other investments to improve their businesses.”


Enhancing the profitability, education and rights of independent service stations and repair shops has been the mission of the New England Service Station & Auto Repair Association, Inc., (NESSARA) since 1974. New England’s largest independent automotive industry association, the organization offers resources, education, advocacy, and financing options to member businesses in all six New England states: Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Maine. Its members consist of service stations, auto repair facilities, convenience stores, auto body shops and other automotive-related businesses throughout New England. The organization’s goals include keeping members informed on all major issues that can have an impact on their businesses; creating cost savings and revenue-generating programs that help members enhance their bottom line; and lobbying for and against legislation that will affect the day-to-day operations of its members.

About Patriot Capital

Patriot Capital, a division of State Bank and Trust Company, specializes in enabling entrepreneurs to succeed by providing access to hassle-free equipment financing and SBA loans in the retail and commercial fueling verticals and other manufacturing industries. Working with its customers to enable them to optimize their financing and capital structures, Patriot Capital is the leading provider of capital equipment financing and leasing to NACS (National Association of Convenience Stores), PMAA (Petroleum Marketers Association of America) and SIGMA (Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America) members. Member FDIC. For further information, visit patriotcapitalcorp.com.


Patriot Capital, a division of State Bank and Trust Company
Richard Browne, Vice-President, Marketing,
Cell: (404) 977-1251
Email: rbrowne@patriotcapitalcorp.com
Follow Patriot Capital on Twitter @PatriotCapital

Matt Lelacheur, Co-Executive Director
574 Boston Road, Suite 12
Billerica, MA 01821
Phone: (978) 667-7706
Email: mlelacheur@nessara.org

TAC Energy Acquires Mutual Oil Co. Inc. Wholesale Unbranded Fuel Assets

TAC Energy Acquires Mutual Oil Co. Inc. Wholesale Unbranded Fuel Assets

TAC and Mutual OilTAC Energy, a division of The Arnold Companies (TAC) has acquired the wholesale unbranded business assets of Mutual Oil Co. Inc. (Mutual) effective June 1, 2016. Terms of the sale between the privately held companies are not being disclosed.

TAC Energy will maintain all key sales and customer service associates from Mutual, who will temporarily operate from their current offices outside Boston. Plans are currently underway to relocate to new office space in the area within the next several months.

TAC Chairman and CEO, Greg Arnold, stated “The Mutual Oil acquisition is another facet of our overall growth strategy and establishes a strong base of business in New England.” Last February, TAC Energy opened a regional sales office in the Northeast, headed by industry veteran Christine McHale – who will focus on growing the mid-Atlantic region for TAC Energy.

Continue reading

Road Travel and Gas Demand is Up 5%

Road Travel is up 5% Since March 2015

US Gas DemandRoad travel is increasing and that’s no doubt good for business. This is reflected by the demand for barrels of gas per day. In short, as of March 2016, demand for gasoline is up by approximately half a million (500,000) barrels per day since the same time last year, and this trend seems to be continuing into the summer months

Travel on all roads and streets changed by 5.0% (13.0 billion vehicle miles) for March 2016 as compared with March 2015. Travel for the month is estimated to be 273.4 billion vehicle miles. The seasonally adjusted vehicle miles traveled for March 2016 is 268.2 billion miles, a 4.0% (10.3 billion vehicle miles) increase over March 2015. It also represents a 0.7% change (1.8 billion vehicle miles) compared with February 2016. Cumulative Travel for 2016 changed by 4.2% (29.8 billion vehicle miles). The cumulative estimate for the year is 746.0 billion vehicle miles of travel.

The report can be found at:

Stay on Top of the Visa/MasterCard Lawsuit

Stay on Top of the Visa/MasterCard Lawsuit

NACS counsel provides answers about the current status of the antitrust litigation against Visa, MasterCard and the major banks.

May 27, 2016


ALEXANDRIA, Va. – NACS members continue to show interest in the status of the antitrust litigation against Visa, MasterCard and the major banks. NACS counsel, Steptoe & Johnson LLP, provided the following information and steps retailers should be taking.

Numerous antitrust class actions were filed against Visa, MasterCard and their card-issuing banks in 2005. Those suits resulted in a class settlement agreement that received preliminary approval by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York in November 2012. Following preliminary approval, notices regarding the settlement were sent to class members (merchants that accepted Visa or MasterCard payment cards between January 1, 2004, and November 30, 2012). At that time, class members had the opportunity to opt out of the monetary portion of the class settlement and to object to the settlement. Following the notice process, the District Court gave final approval to the settlement in December 2013. That approval is being challenged on appeal and arguments on the appeal were heard by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in September 2015.

Merchants that Remain in the Class: If you did not opt-out of the monetary portion of the settlement in 2013, you remain part of the class. No merchant can claim funds from the settlement, however, until the appeals challenging the settlement have concluded. It is not clear when that will occur, but we are monitoring the litigation and will provide updates on the appeals as we get them.

If the settlement survives the appeals, there will be a claims process through which class members can apply for part of the settlement funds. This process is designed to be easy such that small business owners can do this on their own without the assistance of settlement firms or lawyers.

We would note that some questions have been raised about whether branded retailers or the refiner brand should apply for settlement funds. As we read the settlement and relevant law, the company that paid the interchange fees in question is entitled to recovery in the settlement. Our understanding is that retailers are the ones that paid the fees (at least, in every instance of which we have been informed). If refiners claim fees that they did not pay and do not transmit those fees to the retailers that paid them, then it will raise legal issues not only regarding the disposition of those fees but also with potential violations of the pricing terms of the contracts between retailers and those brands. After the appeals are concluded, claims forms will become available and there will be additional specificity regarding how to claim funds.

Merchants that Opted Out of the Class: For merchants that opted out of the monetary portion of the class settlement by May 28, 2013, many have become part of lawsuits to press their monetary claims against the defendants in the case. Some of those cases have settled and many are proceeding through litigation. We have identified counsel willing to put together a case with merchants of all sizes (including small businesses) to allow merchants to protect the value of their legal claims in the case while they negotiate settlement of the claims. While that case has been filed, additional companies can still work with these lawyers to get their cases filed. Those lawyers have been negotiating settlements for their merchant clients that preserve each merchant’s right to benefit from any rule changes arising from the appeals or modifications to the class settlement.

If you opted-out of the case and do not file an opt-out lawsuit, either individually or with other companies, you will not receive any money for your legal claims. In fact, if you opted-out and have not yet filed a suit, you are risking losing some of the value of your claims due to the statute of limitations with every day that passes.

Language has been removed that would have yanked flavored e-cigarettes from the market until they had been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

Language has been removed that would have yanked flavored e-cigarettes from the market until they had been authorized by the Food and Drug Administration.

June 2, 2016

​WASHINGTON – Reuters reports that the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has deleted language in the Food and Drug Administration’s tobacco regulation that would have removed flavored e-cigarettes from the market until they had been authorized by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).

Continue reading

Retail Group Says New Overtime Rule a ‘Career Killer’

Retail Group Says New Overtime Rule a ‘Career Killer’

Industry reacts to doubling of salary threshold, otherprovisions

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Department of Laborhas finalized the rule updating overtime protections forconvenience-store, restaurant and other retail workers. The final rule,which takes effect Dec. 1, doubles the salary threshold under whichmost salaried workers are guaranteed overtime, from $23,660 to $47,476per year, or from $455 to $913 a week.

Vice president Joe Biden delivered remarks on the overtimerule and the economy in Columbus, Ohio, on May 18.

Continue reading

Final DOL Rule Doubles Min. Salary For Managers Who Don’t Get OT

Final DOL Rule Doubles Min. Salary For Managers Who Don’t Get OT

Full-time managers whom employers assert aren’t entitled to overtime pay for overtime work would have to be paid at least $913 a week (which comes to $47,476 per year), under a U.S. Labor Department final rule scheduled to be released today. The old minimum salary was $455 per week, which comes to $23,660 a year.

The rule is scheduled to go into effect Dec. 1, 2016. In addition, the rule calls for automatically updating the salary threshold every three years, based on wage growth over time, the Labor Department said.

The increased minimum would add 4.2 million workers to the numbers of employees eligible for overtime pay for overtime work, the Labor Department said.

President Obama said in an email yesterday: “For generations, overtime protections have meant that an honest day’s work should get a fair day’s pay, and that’s helped American workers climb the ladder of success. That’s what middle-class economics are all about. But after years of inflation and lobbyists’ efforts to weaken overtime protections, that security has eroded for too many families.”

The rule has been heatedly opposed by industry, which has argued it could be a very big burden on small business. Industry plans to, at the very least, push Congress to pass already-introduced legislation that would block the rule and order the Labor Department to better analyze how the change would affect small businesses, small governmental jurisdictions and nonprofit employers. Industry has criticized the methodology used to come up with the new minimum figure, pointing out that, among other things, it doesn’t take into account regional economic differences.

-Vincent Taylor, vtaylor@opisnet.com

 Copyright, Oil Price Information Service 

Scan Tool Information Center is Now Available!

Scan Tool Information Center is Now Available!

This tool was developed by ASA and The Auto Alliance to help you find ODB/ODB2 scanner and other auto diagnostic scanner information faster and easier. The Scan Tool section leads you to the newly updated Scan Tool Resource Center. Each of the pages was developed jointly with a member of the Automotive Service Association Operations Committee and the manufacturer to ensure accuracy. There are some resources that will require a subscription to use. They are noted for you on the landing page for each manufacturer. Due to the varied methods manufacturers use to display their information you will find some minor differences in how you navigate to a location but the menus are kept as similar as possible.

Click here to access the tool!

Staying Safe on the Job: Going Beyond OSHA

Staying Safe on the Job: Going Beyond OSHA

Mechanics are more likely than the average worker to be injured or killed on the job, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.  It’s estimated that for every dollar spent in workers’ compensation claims, an employer will pay out four to 10 times that in indirect costs due to lost productivity resulting from supervisors leaving their post to investigate the case, other employees driving the injured to the doctor, lost revenue of the injured worker and more.

For example, in the event of a minor workplace injury such as a laceration from machinery, the direct cost reflected in the medical expense could be $500. The total cost of this injury, though, may actually exceed $5,500 when considering the combination of all the indirect costs. Working on an average profit margin of 15%, this small-to-mid-size company would have to sell over $36,000 in product or services to recover such a loss. Imagine a workers’ compensation claim where the employee suffers a more serious injury?

Continue reading